Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To report problems to PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you find any problem, click the Report a Problem link located at the bottom right corner of the website.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Heinemann, E. (2000). “Fakafefine” Men Who are Like Women: Incest Taboo and Transsexuality in Tonga. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 5(2):155-183.

(2000). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 5(2):155-183

“Fakafefine” Men Who are Like Women: Incest Taboo and Transsexuality in Tonga

Evelyn Heinemann

In Tonga (Polynesia), the phenomenon of “feminine” men who grow up as girls, and who as adults present transvestite and transsexual behaviors, is widespread and known over many generations. In Tonga they are called fakafefine (like a woman) or fakaleiti (like a lady); in Samoa, fa'afa'fine; and in Tahiti, mahu (Levy, 1973; James, 1994). The Polynesian cultures can be distinguished by the high esteem in which they hold women and by the real power that women possess. The mother and the maternal clan dominate the socialization of the child, and alongside the father, the brother of the mother (motherbrother) takes on important educational tasks. This paper explores the following questions: What are the consequences of these arrangements for the psychic development of the children? What are the resulting unconscious conflicts? How can we understand these phenomena ethnopsychoanalytically?

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.